Fuji's new digital SLR camera helps fight crime

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Valhalla (NY) - A new camera from Fuji could help law enforcement catch criminals. The FinePix S3 Pro UVIR is a 12-megapixel digital camera that can also photograph in ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. Ultraviolet photography can capture gun shot residue, blood and semen stains along with altered writing. Infrared photos could help police in night surveillance situations.

Fuji FinePix S3 UVIR

The camera is meant to capture evidence that is normally invisible to the human eye and a live CCD preview feature is included to help. Unlike other digital cameras the FinePix S3 has 6.17 million pairs of photodiodes which, according to Fuji, has four times the dynamic range of normal cameras. One diode captures mainly brightness information, while the other takes in mainly color information. Onboard hardware combines the information to produce the final picture.

The FinePix S3 UVIR can shoot up to 2.5 frames/sec and has image sizes ranging from 4256 by 2848 pixels down to 1440 by 960 pixels. Photographers can take pictures in either 14-bit RAW mode or in the ever popular JPEG format. The FinePix S3 takes Compact Flash cards

In addition to police work, Fuji says the camera is useful in making artistic photos, similar to Ansel Adams' infrared photos of American landscapes. Wedding photographers are also using IR photography more and there are several books devoted to making the ghostly grey photographs.

The FinePix S3 Pro UVIR will be available in September for $1800.